The MOOC Movement: Coursera
MOOC – Massive Open Online Courses
Have you ever heard of Coursera or Kahn Academy? These are two popular MOOC’s that are taking the next step in higher education. The concept of MOOC was brought to my attention in my MBA marketing principles class this past summer, and I was very intrigued.
These platforms offer free, yes, 100% free, online classes taught by professors from the nation’s top schools (Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Michigan, Princeton…the list goes on) from topics ranging from Biology & Life Sciences to Economics & Finance. What’s the catch? You will not earn any credit towards any educational institution (but you will get a signed certificate if you pass the course!).
Since it’s purely an online course, some of you may think the class is easy. But you are wrong. The courses recommend you dedicate at minimum of 5-7 hours a week to watch lectures and do homework. On top of that, most courses are 10 weeks long, which is the same was my quarterly MBA schedule.
Why do this? My response back is WHY NOT? I personally have a thirst for knowledge. Although finance and economics are my main courses of study, I try to broaden my general knowledge. My latest interests have been about theoretical physics through the readings of Stephen Hawking and general knowledge of astrophysics from Neil deGrasse Tyson. I feel that MOOC/Coursera is a near revolutionary idea to help spread knowledge once thought to be obtainable only if you could score high on standardized tests and have the bank account to pay for it.
For my first MOOC experience, I chose “Introduction to Computational Finance and Financial Econometrics” taught by Dr. Eric Zivot of the University of Washington. I look forward to the knowledge I will gain through this and hope you will do the same!
Below is a screen shot of my Coursera course dashboard: